Do you have trouble getting all the dirt off your shag carpet? As luxurious as they are, shag carpets hold onto dust and particles. And we know it can be hard to give your rugs a good clean without damaging them.
Vacuums for shag carpets can pull up debris without hurting your soft shag rugs. A proper vacuum head that’s height-adjustable will keep your carpets clean without tearing them.
With our list of the 6 best vacuums for shag carpet, you’ll find the perfect model to properly maintain your shag carpets.
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Do Shag Carpets Need a Special Vacuum?
But, using a vacuum cleaner that is intended for shag carpet will give you a better clean and won’t damage your rugs.
We all know that shag carpets are soft and luxurious, but we also know that cleaning shag carpet can be a nightmare! The long fibers trap dirt, dust, and hair, and it’s very hard to remove these from shag carpeting.
In addition, standard vacuum cleaners can pull or tear your carpeting.
However, some vacuums are designed for high pile carpets:
- First, some are Seal-of-Approval certified by The Carpet and Rug Institute. You know that these models will pick up dirt and debris buried within the shag pile (1).
- Second, check the suction power. Vacuum cleaners with powerful suction can pull up the shag carpet fibers and get stuck. Look for models with adjustable suction power so that you can clean different surfaces in your home, such as shag carpet and hardwood floors.
- Third, some models come with a HEPA filtration system. Since shag carpets hold allergens such as pollen and dust, a HEPA filter will keep these particles from entering the air.
- Finally, heavy vacuums can be hard to push on shag carpet. Sometimes, they won’t move forward at all. Using a lightweight model with large wheels and height adjustments will make your job easier.
How To Choose the Best Vacuum for Shag Carpet
Here are the important things to look for when choosing a vacuum for shag carpet.
Upright vacuums are made of three parts: a vacuum head, a handle, and a bag or canister. Inside the vacuum head, there is a rotating brush roll or beater bar. This brush roller removes dirt as it spins and vibrates.
Upright vacuums are also very powerful and versatile vacuums, in addition to being easy to use. Most models have settings for different floor types, so you can vacuum hard floors as well as thick carpets.
You can find upright vacuums in corded or cordless models, depending on what’s more convenient for you.
Like upright models, canister vacuum cleaners are very powerful. However, they have a more slender frame, similar to a stick vacuum.
A canister vacuum has a long wand attached to a separate canister. As with an upright vacuum cleaner, you can use a canister vacuum cleaner for hard floors in addition to carpeting.
Unfortunately, a canister vacuum can be difficult to drag on surfaces like shag carpets. On the other hand, it can be used for a variety of surfaces, including chairs, tables, and sofas.
Canister vacuum cleaners are usually corded.
A stick vacuum is very slender and has a long, stick-like handle. Even though this type is extremely lightweight, it has enough suction power to pick up dust and allergens.
Compared to upright and canister vacuum cleaners, stick vacuums are the least powerful type. But they still work very well on hardwood floors, low pile carpet, and area rugs.
It’s easy to find both corded and cordless models of stick vacuums.
According to CRI, it’s important to clean your high pile carpets regularly because soil and dirt can damage the material.
When purchasing a shag carpet vacuum, check to see if CRI has certified your desired model. For example, this Hoover WindTunnel 3 is certified by CRI.
To prevent allergy attacks, choose a model with a certified HEPA filter. A HEPA filter system catches 99.97% of all particles larger than 0.3 microns (3). The standards for these filters are very high, so choose an officially-certified model instead of a HEPA-like filter.
Also, make sure you clean or replace your filter frequently. Otherwise, you’ll be putting dirt and allergens back into the air. HEPA filters are usually easy to access and replace or wash. Always remember to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
On the other hand, a vacuum with low suction won’t be strong enough to pick up dirt at the base of the shag carpet.
If you have carpets of different thicknesses, you’ll want to choose a vacuum cleaner that has adjustable suction power. That way you can use it on different surfaces without the machine getting stuck.
For shag carpet cleaning, a medium setting usually works best.
As an example, this Kenmore has a 2-motor system with variable control settings for adjustable suction power.
Dusting Brush & Attachments
Keep in mind that beater bars work well on low or medium pile carpets. But high pile or thick shag carpet can jam the machine. The beater bar can even tangle or tear your shag carpet.
Because of this, it’s a good idea to look for a vacuum head with an adjustable height feature. This allows you to raise the beater bar so the carpet won’t tangle in it.
Some vacuum cleaner models allow you to turn off the beater bar, which will solve the problem as well.
You can also buy special attachments and brush rolls specifically for different floor types, including shag carpet. For example, this Qualtex Shag Rake Carpet Floor Brush or this Wessel-Werk Shag Rake are both designed for cleaning shag carpets.
Also, the vacuum head on a heavy machine is often very difficult to turn because of the weight. This means that moving the vacuum back and forth to clean is very tiring.
For these reasons, lightweight vacuums are a great choice. For example, this Hoover model is very heavy and weighs 16 pounds. However, this other Hoover ONEPWR weighs only 6.6 pounds.
If you or your family members are allergy sufferers, bagged vacuums are the better choice. When you empty a vacuum bag, you’re less likely to be exposed to dust and allergens than if you empty the canister of a bagless model. In addition, most bags collect all but 0.3% of the pollen and dust in your carpet.
With this type of vacuum cleaner, you will need to replace the bags regularly. Don’t worry though — most supermarkets will carry them.
Also, bagged vacuums tend to do a better job of deep cleaning. This is especially important if you have dense carpets or high pile rugs.
A bagless vacuum cleaner is a great environmentally-friendly option because you won’t be throwing out bags. Plus, you don’t have to remember to buy new ones!
Also, bagless vacuums usually have clear canisters. This makes it really easy to see when the canister is full and needs to be emptied.
If you can adjust your vacuum’s height, you can choose the right level for your floor type.
For example, this Miele Electro+ has 5 different height adjustment levels.
Also check the wheel size of the vacuum. Small wheels can get caught in the shag pile fibers, but large wheels will roll over a shag rug more easily.
The Best Vacuums for Shag Carpets of 2023
Now that we’ve covered the basics of vacuums for shag carpets, here are our picks for the best appliances of 2023. We’ve spent hours comparing different makes and models, so we know you’ll find the perfect vacuum for shag carpet right here!
1. Soniclean Soft Carpet Upright Vacuum
Best Overall Vacuum for Shag CarpetView on AmazonView on Walmart
Soniclean designed this soft carpet upright vacuum together with Mohawk Industries, one of the leading global manufacturers of premium carpeting. It effectively cleans all kinds of soft carpets that have pile fibers shorter than 1 inch.
By using high-frequency sonic energy, this model shifts and removes stubborn dirt and particles that are stuck in your carpet fibers.
You won’t damage your carpet fibers with this model because it has a very gentle, ultra-soft brush roll.
The adjustable vent system on this Soniclean soft carpet upright allows you to easily vacuum different floor types. You open the vents for plush carpet, and you close them for hard floors or low pile carpeting.
The HEPA filter on this model keeps your air clear, which is ideal for allergy sufferers.
This model is Certified Gold by CRI.
What We Like
Light BuildUpright vacuums can weigh a lot, but this one only weighs 10.5 pounds. That means you’ve got the power of an upright vacuum cleaner, but you can push and carry it with less effort.
Large, Wide WheelsThe large, wide wheels on this model mean that it won’t sink into carpeting like some other vacuums. This makes it easier to push on shag carpet.
Scent PodAs an extra bonus, this vacuum comes with a scent pod. This gives your house the smell of fresh, clean laundry as you use the machine.
What We Don’t Like
Sucks up Small CarpetsSome customers were frustrated when they tried to clean small area rugs. If you’re not careful, this vacuum will start to pull up light carpets.
No AttachmentsWhile users were very happy with the way this machine works, it doesn’t come with any attachments.
Not Good for Small SpacesThis is a powerful upright vacuum, but it doesn’t maneuver well in small spaces. Some customers use this model for their floors and an additional handheld vacuum for stairs and other hard-to-reach areas.
|Cord length||35 feet|
|Warranty||5-year motor warranty, 1-year parts warranty, lifetime belt warranty.|
|Ideal for||Bare floors, Carpet, Wool, Synthetic|
2. Eureka 3670M Canister Vacuum
Best Budget Vacuum for Shag CarpetView on AmazonView on Walmart
Having the right tool for cleaning shag carpet is important because not all vacuum cleaners can handle the long fibers. But it can be difficult to find a good model on a budget.
This Eureka canister vacuum is relatively lightweight at only 9 pounds. This makes it convenient to carry and move around your house.
Along with the vacuum, you get two accessories to help you clean hard-to-reach areas. These are a crevice tool and a dual-purpose upholstery/dusting brush.
This model has a blower port, so you can use it to remove dust and dirt in your garage or outdoor spaces in addition to vacuuming your interior.
There is convenient cord storage on the canister itself, so you can easily wrap and store the power cord.
When you’ve filled the bag, you can quickly and cleanly dispose of it. This keeps dust and allergens sealed away and out of the air.
What We Like
Great ValueCustomers love that they get great value for their money with this machine. Despite the low price tag, it gives your floors a good clean.
Low ProfileA lever on the vacuum head allows it to go flat. This means you can vacuum under low furniture without a problem.
Powerful SuctionCustomers love the suction power on this model, particularly for bare floors.
What We Don’t Like
Pipe ConnectionsThe extension pipes on this model connect through friction. Unfortunately, this means they sometimes come apart during use.
Better on Bare FloorsSome customers noticed that while this model will work on carpeting, it tends to be better for bare floors.
|Bin Volume||2.5 liters|
|Cord length||20 feet|
|Warranty||1-year limited warranty|
|Accessories Included||2 extension wands, crevice tool, upholstery nozzle/dusting brush|
|Ideal for||Bare floor, Low pile carpet,Upholstery|
3. Kenmore Pet-Friendly Bagless Canister Vacuum
Best Shag Carpet Vacuum for PetsView on AmazonView on Walmart
This Kenmore vacuum comes with a motorized attachment specifically designed to remove pet hair from different surfaces. The design of the brush roll also keeps hair from tangling around the bristles.
If you have lots of low furniture, the telescoping wand on this canister vacuum will help you out. It reaches up to 9 feet, so you can clean under beds and sofas. Also, the handle detaches so that you can vacuum out nooks and crannies like the corners of cabinets or car upholstery.
This model has four height adjustment options, so you can clean many different floor types.
It also has a HEPA filter system, so it will keep pet dander and other allergens from getting into the air.
RELATED The Best Vacuum for Pet Hair on Carpet in 2023
What We Like
Clear CanisterThe clear canister makes it easy to see when you need to empty the debris. Customers are also pleased with how convenient it is to empty the canister. It simply flips open with the touch of a button.
Retractable CordThe retractable power cord means storage is very easy. Customers are happy that they don’t have to wind the cord themselves.
Easier Than UprightUsers who switched from an upright vacuum to this canister model have said that cleaning is much easier now. Although the vacuum canister itself is fairly heavy, when you use the machine, you’re mostly moving the light extension arm by itself.
On/Off ButtonCustomers love the placement of the on/off button. Since it’s right on the handle, you can easily control your machine.
What We Don’t Like
HeavyAt 22 pounds, this is a relatively heavy vacuum compared to some of the other models on this list. While it’s a bit harder to drag around the house, the weight also makes it very stable.
Accessories StorageSome users have complained that the tool storage option on this model is not ideal. When attached, the tools don’t feel firmly secured to the vacuum, and there is no place to store the pet nozzle.
|Cord length||24 feet|
|Accessories Included||Dusting brush, crevice tool, motorized Pet PowerMate pet tool|
|Ideal for||Pet hair, Bare floor, Carpet, Upholstery|
4. Miele Complete C3 Canister Vacuum
Best Canister Vacuum for Shag CarpetView on AmazonView on Walmart
This Miele vacuum cleaner is a very versatile machine. There are 6 suction power settings, plus an additional one for soft carpets. It also has 5 levels for height adjustments, so you can choose the appropriate one based on the surface you are cleaning.
This Miele also comes with two vacuum heads and three useful accessories. The first vacuum head is the Electro Plus, which is specifically designed for soft carpets. If you have hard floors as well, the parquet head will clean them gently without scratching. You can attach the dusting brush, upholstery brush, and crevice tool for even more versatility.
You can keep your tools together with on-board storage, and the power cord is retractable.
With both a HEPA filter and Miele’s AirClean Sealed System, this vacuum will keep your air dust-free.
This Miele is so good it received the Good Housekeeping Seal Star in 2019.
What We Like
Great Foot PedalThe foot pedal controls are very convenient and easy to use. Customers love that they can use the on/off switch as well as the height controls with just a foot tap.
Very QuietThis is a generally quiet vacuum. And if you have sensitive ears, you can use the power option for low-noise operation. This is also great if you need to vacuum during odd hours without disturbing others.
Good for Pet HairCustomers love how well this model picks up animal fur. One said it even worked better than the Miele C3 Cat and Dog vacuum cleaner.
What We Don’t Like
Small WheelsSome customers have complained that the wheels are too small for thick carpet. Depending on your flooring, you may end up dragging the machine rather than rolling it.
Fairly ExpensiveWhile this model comes with a relatively high price tag, customers say it’s worth the money.
|Bin Volume||4.76 quarts|
|Cord length||23 feet|
|Warranty||3-year limited warranty|
|Accessories Included||Dusting brush, Parquet Twister floorhead, Electro Plus floorhead for soft carpet, crevice tool, upholstery tool|
|Ideal for||Pet hair, Bare floor, Soft carpet, High pile carpet,Upholstery|
5. Hoover WindTunnel 2 Whole House Rewind
Best Upright Vacuum for Shag CarpetView on AmazonView on Walmart
This model uses Hoover’s WindTunnel 2 technology. As the vacuum runs, it creates two suction channels that effectively remove embedded dirt and debris.
You can use this machine as a multi floor vacuum because it allows you to switch the brush roll on and off. This way you can use the brush for cleaning your carpets, but you can turn it off for hard floors.
It also has anti-allergen technology and uses odor-absorbing carbon. This means it will trap dust, pollen, and dander, as well as eliminate animal odors. The HEPA filter will catch very small particles as well.
You have five different height adjustment levels to choose from, so you can select the best option for your floor type.
The cleaning wand on this upright vacuum extends to 16 feet, so you can easily reach all areas of your house.
The retractable cord makes storage a breeze.
What We Like
Pet Hair AttachmentIf you have animals that shed, the pet hair attachment on this model makes picking up after them very easy. Even customers with long-haired pets love how well this vacuum works.
Quality BrushesUsers are pleased with the quality of the brushes. The bristles are strong enough to effectively clean upholstery and carpeting.
Easy to EmptyCustomers say that it is very easy to clean the canister since it pops open with a button. But if you vacuum lots of pet hair, you may need to pull some of it out manually.
Great ValueCustomers are happy with the price point of this vacuum. It works well and is a good value for the money.
What We Don’t Like
HeavyAs an upright, this model is a bit heavier and harder to clean with than other types of vacuums. Customers say that it maneuvers well for an upright, but might be a bit awkward in tight spaces.
|Bin Volume||1.29 liters|
|Cord length||25 feet|
|Warranty||3-year limited warranty|
|Accessories Included||Crevice tool, dusting brush, pet tool|
|Ideal for||Pet hair, Bare floor, High pile carpet, Upholstery|
6. Bissell ICONpet Cordless Stick Hand Vacuum
Best Stick Vacuum for Shag CarpetView on AmazonView on Walmart
For some of us, upright and canister vacuums are too heavy, awkward, or large to use and store efficiently. That’s where a stick vacuum comes in! Models like this Bissell are lightweight and easy to use, and they’ll still give your shag carpets a good clean.
The Bissell ICONpet is a convertible model. This means you can use it as a regular stick appliance or you can convert it to a handheld or high-reach vacuum. It also has three cleaning modes, so you can choose how much suction you want.
Sometimes you can miss dirt and dust underneath furniture and in dark corners. But the LED lights on this vacuum cleaner illuminate all the spots that debris might be lurking.
This model also features a Smart Seal Allergen System, which helps keep allergens like dust inside the vacuum.
While all of the other models on our list are corded, this cordless vacuum runs on a lithium-ion battery. That makes it easy to move around the house because you don’t need to search for outlets. Plus, you won’t trip over a power cord.
This Bissell is a great option for pet owners because it features a tangle-free brush roll that prevents hair wrap. It also comes with the motorized turbo brush tool that’s designed for pet messes.
In addition, when you buy this model, Bissell will pay the adoption fee for one animal. That means a pet gets a forever home!
What We Like
Long Battery LifeWhile cordless vacuums generally have short run times, customers appreciate the relatively long battery life of this model. One user said it lasted 30 minutes on the “max” mode.
Washable FilterUsers love how easy it is to clean and replace the filter on this model. Since the filter is washable and the stick vacuum is bagless, you don’t need to worry about buying replacement filters or bags.
Good for Hair and CrumbsSome vacuums work for either hair or large particles, but customers are impressed that this one picks up both equally well.
On/Off ButtonWhile many stick vacuums have triggers that need to be held down while vacuuming, this model has an on/off button. Users are pleased that they can clean without worrying about holding down a button the entire time.
Folds FlatCustomers love that this model folds flat so you can easily reach under furniture to clean.
What We Don’t Like
Long Charging TimeAs with many cordless vacuums, this model has a fairly long charge time. One user said it took just under 4 hours to completely charge a depleted battery.
No On-Board StorageBecause of the slim design of this model, there is nowhere to store your accessories on the machine. You’ll need to keep them elsewhere.
|Bin Volume||0.4 liters|
|Warranty||2-year limited warranty|
|Accessories Included||Motorized TurboBrush tool, LED-lighted crevice tool|
|Ideal for||Pet hair, Bare floor, Carpet|
Shag Carpet Vacuum Comparison Chart
|Soniclean Soft Carpet Upright Vacuum||Upright||10.5 pounds||7.5 liters||35 feet||Bare floors, Carpet, Wool, Synthetic
|Eureka 3670M Canister Vacuum||Canister||9 pounds||2.5 liters||20 feet||Bare floor, Low pile carpet, Upholstery
|Kenmore Pet Friendly Bagless Canister Vacuum||Canister||22 pounds||N/A||24 feet||Pet hair, Bare floor, Carpet, Upholstery
|Miele Complete C3 Canister Vacuum||Canister||20 pounds||4.76 quarts||23 feet||Pet hair, Bare floor, Soft carpet, High pile carpet, Upholstery
|Hoover WindTunnel 2 Vacuum||Upright||16.1 pounds||1.29 liters||25 feet||Pet hair, Bare floor, High pile carpet, Upholstery
|Bissell ICONpet Cordless Vacuum||Stick||7 pounds||0.4 liters||N/A||Pet hair, Bare floor, Carpet
If you still have some questions about the best vacuums for shag carpet, take a look below.
How Often Should I Vacuum My Shag Carpet?
How Do I Use a Vacuum Cleaner on Shag Carpet?
Next, take your carpet outside and shake it, if it’s not too big. Remove any loose dirt or debris from the rug’s surface.
Then, turn on your vacuum and set it to “medium suction.”
Finally, move your appliance back and forth over the carpet in every direction.
Read More about :The Right Way to Vacuum the Carpet
Can Robot Vacuums Go Over Shag Carpets?
For example, a Neato robot works well on carpets with fibers 0.6 inches or less. But if the fibers are longer, the Neato will get stuck.
Also, some robot vacuums work better on certain types of shag. For instance, a Neato will have trouble with synthetic fibers, even if they are relatively short.
Cliff sensors can cause problems as well. A robot vacuum like the Roborock won’t work on shag because longer fibers trigger the cliff sensors. The robot will think it’s about to fall, so it won’t clean the carpet.
Sleek and Shiny Shag
You know how tough it can be to get all the dirt out of shag carpets. Dust and debris get trapped really easily in the high pile. And once you find a powerful vacuum, it can still get stuck in the long fibers. Or, worse, it can tear your rug.
A vacuum designed specifically for high pile or shag carpets will make your chores a lot easier. It will efficiently pull up dust and dirt without damaging the delicate carpeting.
When finding the right vacuum, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, choose the style that’s right for you and your house. Then, look at filter type, attachments, and any additional features or certifications the model comes with.
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